Leadership team

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CEO Inland Rail Richard Wankmuller

Richard Wankmuller was appointed to the role of CEO Inland Rail in April 2018 and oversees the delivery of both the development and construction elements of Inland Rail.

Richard has more than 35 years’ senior management experience in both the private and public sectors, including significant time in CEO and Managing Director roles, and has held both executive and non-executive Director positions with some of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies, including Cardno, GHD and Parsons.

Although having lived in Australia for some years, Richard’s time in the USA and Europe has added a global perspective to his approach to the planning, financing, design and delivery of large infrastructure projects and programs. He has helped clients develop and deliver more than $25 billion worth of infrastructure programs across a wide variety of stakeholder interests, in many parts of the world.

Richard understands the vital nature that rail plays in Australia’s national supply chain. As the leader of this once-in-a-generation and Australia’s largest rail freight infrastructure project he recognises the key role that communities, ARTC’s customers, and a wide range of stakeholders play in shaping the success of Inland Rail.


Director, Finance Neil Burlison

Neil’s 30-plus years’ professional experience, gained internationally and within Australia, spans the disciplines of international business, finance, accounting, commercial and ERP system implementation.

Neil’s career started with BP Plc in 1985 where he held a number of global senior Finance and Project leadership positions over 23 years, while based in the UK, the Middle East and Europe.

On leaving BP in 2009, Neil held the roles of Director, Company Secretary and CFO for ITS Energy Services, an oilfield service and rental business headquartered in the UK, before joining Origin Energy in Australia in 2011. As Origin’s Group Manager Finance, Neil was responsible for financial and management accounting, budgeting, and forecasting and planning for the $14 billion upstream Australia Pacific LNG project, before moving on to Sentinel Property Group where he established a resource investment fund.

Neil joined the Australian Rail Track Corporation in 2017 as Director Finance for the Inland Rail Program. He brings a wealth of operational and project management experience, and a proven track record of value-added performance delivery to the Program.

Neil graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Accounting Studies from Exeter University, England, holds an MBA from Brunel University, is a Fellow Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA), and attended MIT Sloan School of Management - Project Academy.


Chief of Staff Simon Eldridge

Simon assumed the role of Chief of Staff on the Inland Rail program in June 2020, having held senior management positions on the project since October 2016.

Simon is responsible for ensuring the efficient and timely production of papers and other materials that support the various internal and external governance arrangements for Inland Rail, and supports Inland Rail’s CEO in bringing a strategic focus to meeting key challenges and determining priorities.

Prior to joining the Australian Rail Track Corporation, Simon held a number of senior management and advisory roles in both the private and public sectors, in Australia and overseas.



Director, Operations – Marnie Evans

Marnie is a project management professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the engineering and construction industry. Marnie’s knowledge of multi-billion-dollar projects spans alumina refineries, mine development, and materials handling; and processing plants for coal, bauxite and zinc across Australia, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

Prior to joining Australian Rail Track Corporation in 2019, Marnie worked for international engineering and construction company, Bechtel, where she gained comprehensive knowledge and a strong skillset within the engineering, project controls, project risk, contract and commercial management and construction fields. Marnie’s direct project experience is complemented by the range of corporate positions in commercial and business management she held within Bechtel’s Mining & Metals Global Business Unit.

Having worked in both project and management roles, Marnie’s direct execution experience will ensure effective and efficient project management is applied to the complex and challenging Inland Rail Program.


General Manager, Communications and Marketing – Susan Hawkins

Susan brings to Inland Rail more than 20 years’ strategic communication, brand and marketing insights from a broad range of sectors.

She was previously Head of Brand and Creative Services for leading digital, communication and creative agency Rowland where she helped clients shape and share their stories with those audiences who could influence their success. Susan led advocacy campaigns and brand and positioning strategies for Brisbane Airport, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Youngcare, Kilcoy Global Foods, Greater Springfield and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Prior to joining Rowland, she established the brand and communication function for Australia’s largest private cancer care network, Icon Cancer Care, integrating four organisations into one national health care brand.

Susan also spent 10 years as Corporate Affairs Manager for NRMA Insurance, proactively positioning the insurer as a challenger brand in Queensland and leading its reputation response to natural disasters, including Cyclones Larry and Yasi and the 2011 Queensland floods.

Having started her career as a metropolitan journalist with The Sun newspaper in Sydney, Susan has a keen news sense and an ability to simplify technical concepts. She is passionate about strategic, integrated communication that tells an organisation’s story across all its touchpoints.


Director, Program Delivery – Brad Jackson

Brad joined the Australian Rail Track Corporation in 2019 and is responsible for leading the Inland Rail Program team and overseeing the delivery of construction of the 1,700km Melbourne to Brisbane alignment.

Brad is a Civil Engineer with a strong delivery and commercial focus, and more than 30 years’ experience. He has significant rail infrastructure development experience at Project Director and Business Unit General Manager level. Brad’s recent history is delivering a portfolio of major metro infrastructure projects in both Queensland and Victoria for various government authorities with differing types of contract delivery.


Director, Public Private Partnership – Tony Lubofsky

Tony Lubofsky is the Director responsible for the technically challenging Gowrie to Kagaru segment of Inland Rail, which is to be delivered as a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Having led multiple successful projects over the past 20 years, Tony is one of the most experienced PPP directors in Australia. Prior to his current role, Tony was the Project Director responsible for the refranchising of the Melbourne metropolitan train and tram networks. That was preceded by a number of PPP project director roles covering both social and economic infrastructure.

Before taking on these roles, Tony spent eight years as a Director with KPMG Corporate Finance in Melbourne, which was preceded by several years practising commercial law.

While Tony's strong commercial background has allowed him to introduce numerous refinements to the complex legal and commercial arrangements affecting PPPs, he is equally passionate about using the PPP model to achieve outstanding design and sustainability outcomes.



Director, Government Affairs – Brendan Nerdal

Brendan joined the Australian Rail Track Corporation in February 2019 and in June 2020 assumed the role of Director, Government Affairs. In this role, Brendan supports the delivery of the Inland Rail program as the key project liaison and coordinator for Government Ministers, Shareholding Departments and senior officials, Federal and State MPs and external stakeholders and organisations.

Brendan brings extensive experience in the areas of fiscal policy, project and budget assurance, stakeholder relations and, for three years, was the Australian Government’s senior financial and planning advisor to the Solomon Island Government.

Brendan has held senior roles in the Australian Public Service across infrastructure, finance, social policy, agriculture, fisheries, and public sector transformation. He has also served as an adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.


Director, Engagement, Environment & Property Rebecca Pickering

Rebecca is responsible for leading Inland Rail’s community and stakeholder engagement, and property access and acquisition functions, and directing the Program’s environmental and social management area. Her remit covers Inland Rail’s entire 1,700km alignment comprising 13 individual projects across 36 local government areas in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

A Chemical Engineer by background, Rebecca’s extensive experience was honed within the energy industry in both the UK and Australia with leadership roles ranging across policy and regulation, strategy and portfolio management, stakeholder relations, gas field operations, safety leadership, and reputation management.

Before joining the Australian Rail Track Corporation Inland Rail in July 2018 Rebecca was with Origin Energy, where she led the environment, community and land access work during the Queensland coal seam gas fields approvals and development phases.




CEO Inland Rail Richard Wankmuller

Richard Wankmuller was appointed to the role of CEO Inland Rail in April 2018 and oversees the delivery of both the development and construction elements of Inland Rail.

Richard has more than 35 years’ senior management experience in both the private and public sectors, including significant time in CEO and Managing Director roles, and has held both executive and non-executive Director positions with some of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies, including Cardno, GHD and Parsons.

Although having lived in Australia for some years, Richard’s time in the USA and Europe has added a global perspective to his approach to the planning, financing, design and delivery of large infrastructure projects and programs. He has helped clients develop and deliver more than $25 billion worth of infrastructure programs across a wide variety of stakeholder interests, in many parts of the world.

Richard understands the vital nature that rail plays in Australia’s national supply chain. As the leader of this once-in-a-generation and Australia’s largest rail freight infrastructure project he recognises the key role that communities, ARTC’s customers, and a wide range of stakeholders play in shaping the success of Inland Rail.


Director, Finance Neil Burlison

Neil’s 30-plus years’ professional experience, gained internationally and within Australia, spans the disciplines of international business, finance, accounting, commercial and ERP system implementation.

Neil’s career started with BP Plc in 1985 where he held a number of global senior Finance and Project leadership positions over 23 years, while based in the UK, the Middle East and Europe.

On leaving BP in 2009, Neil held the roles of Director, Company Secretary and CFO for ITS Energy Services, an oilfield service and rental business headquartered in the UK, before joining Origin Energy in Australia in 2011. As Origin’s Group Manager Finance, Neil was responsible for financial and management accounting, budgeting, and forecasting and planning for the $14 billion upstream Australia Pacific LNG project, before moving on to Sentinel Property Group where he established a resource investment fund.

Neil joined the Australian Rail Track Corporation in 2017 as Director Finance for the Inland Rail Program. He brings a wealth of operational and project management experience, and a proven track record of value-added performance delivery to the Program.

Neil graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Accounting Studies from Exeter University, England, holds an MBA from Brunel University, is a Fellow Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA), and attended MIT Sloan School of Management - Project Academy.


Chief of Staff Simon Eldridge

Simon assumed the role of Chief of Staff on the Inland Rail program in June 2020, having held senior management positions on the project since October 2016.

Simon is responsible for ensuring the efficient and timely production of papers and other materials that support the various internal and external governance arrangements for Inland Rail, and supports Inland Rail’s CEO in bringing a strategic focus to meeting key challenges and determining priorities.

Prior to joining the Australian Rail Track Corporation, Simon held a number of senior management and advisory roles in both the private and public sectors, in Australia and overseas.



Director, Operations – Marnie Evans

Marnie is a project management professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the engineering and construction industry. Marnie’s knowledge of multi-billion-dollar projects spans alumina refineries, mine development, and materials handling; and processing plants for coal, bauxite and zinc across Australia, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

Prior to joining Australian Rail Track Corporation in 2019, Marnie worked for international engineering and construction company, Bechtel, where she gained comprehensive knowledge and a strong skillset within the engineering, project controls, project risk, contract and commercial management and construction fields. Marnie’s direct project experience is complemented by the range of corporate positions in commercial and business management she held within Bechtel’s Mining & Metals Global Business Unit.

Having worked in both project and management roles, Marnie’s direct execution experience will ensure effective and efficient project management is applied to the complex and challenging Inland Rail Program.


General Manager, Communications and Marketing – Susan Hawkins

Susan brings to Inland Rail more than 20 years’ strategic communication, brand and marketing insights from a broad range of sectors.

She was previously Head of Brand and Creative Services for leading digital, communication and creative agency Rowland where she helped clients shape and share their stories with those audiences who could influence their success. Susan led advocacy campaigns and brand and positioning strategies for Brisbane Airport, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Youngcare, Kilcoy Global Foods, Greater Springfield and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Prior to joining Rowland, she established the brand and communication function for Australia’s largest private cancer care network, Icon Cancer Care, integrating four organisations into one national health care brand.

Susan also spent 10 years as Corporate Affairs Manager for NRMA Insurance, proactively positioning the insurer as a challenger brand in Queensland and leading its reputation response to natural disasters, including Cyclones Larry and Yasi and the 2011 Queensland floods.

Having started her career as a metropolitan journalist with The Sun newspaper in Sydney, Susan has a keen news sense and an ability to simplify technical concepts. She is passionate about strategic, integrated communication that tells an organisation’s story across all its touchpoints.


Director, Program Delivery – Brad Jackson

Brad joined the Australian Rail Track Corporation in 2019 and is responsible for leading the Inland Rail Program team and overseeing the delivery of construction of the 1,700km Melbourne to Brisbane alignment.

Brad is a Civil Engineer with a strong delivery and commercial focus, and more than 30 years’ experience. He has significant rail infrastructure development experience at Project Director and Business Unit General Manager level. Brad’s recent history is delivering a portfolio of major metro infrastructure projects in both Queensland and Victoria for various government authorities with differing types of contract delivery.


Director, Public Private Partnership – Tony Lubofsky

Tony Lubofsky is the Director responsible for the technically challenging Gowrie to Kagaru segment of Inland Rail, which is to be delivered as a Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Having led multiple successful projects over the past 20 years, Tony is one of the most experienced PPP directors in Australia. Prior to his current role, Tony was the Project Director responsible for the refranchising of the Melbourne metropolitan train and tram networks. That was preceded by a number of PPP project director roles covering both social and economic infrastructure.

Before taking on these roles, Tony spent eight years as a Director with KPMG Corporate Finance in Melbourne, which was preceded by several years practising commercial law.

While Tony's strong commercial background has allowed him to introduce numerous refinements to the complex legal and commercial arrangements affecting PPPs, he is equally passionate about using the PPP model to achieve outstanding design and sustainability outcomes.



Director, Government Affairs – Brendan Nerdal

Brendan joined the Australian Rail Track Corporation in February 2019 and in June 2020 assumed the role of Director, Government Affairs. In this role, Brendan supports the delivery of the Inland Rail program as the key project liaison and coordinator for Government Ministers, Shareholding Departments and senior officials, Federal and State MPs and external stakeholders and organisations.

Brendan brings extensive experience in the areas of fiscal policy, project and budget assurance, stakeholder relations and, for three years, was the Australian Government’s senior financial and planning advisor to the Solomon Island Government.

Brendan has held senior roles in the Australian Public Service across infrastructure, finance, social policy, agriculture, fisheries, and public sector transformation. He has also served as an adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.


Director, Engagement, Environment & Property Rebecca Pickering

Rebecca is responsible for leading Inland Rail’s community and stakeholder engagement, and property access and acquisition functions, and directing the Program’s environmental and social management area. Her remit covers Inland Rail’s entire 1,700km alignment comprising 13 individual projects across 36 local government areas in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

A Chemical Engineer by background, Rebecca’s extensive experience was honed within the energy industry in both the UK and Australia with leadership roles ranging across policy and regulation, strategy and portfolio management, stakeholder relations, gas field operations, safety leadership, and reputation management.

Before joining the Australian Rail Track Corporation Inland Rail in July 2018 Rebecca was with Origin Energy, where she led the environment, community and land access work during the Queensland coal seam gas fields approvals and development phases.


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